In the mobile world, India is as important, or maybe more so, than China when it comes to Google and Android products. It is the seventh-largest country by area – however, it is the second-most populated (China is number one) country with over 1.2 billion people and is the highest populated democracy. The Indian economy is the world's tenth largest by nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and one of the fastest growing economies – in fact, their telecommunications industry is also the world's fastest growing…they added 227 million subscribers during 2010 – 2011, and as of 2013, they are third largest smartphone market after China and the U.S. With these figures, you can understand why Google and Android would focus on such a prospective customer base.
Today, at a press event in New Delhi, Google announced that their Google voice search feature would now recognize and support the Indian accent. When you setup your voice search you will still select English, as the language being supported, but it will now recognize the commands better when spoken in a heavy Indian accent. Sandeep Menon, head of marketing, Google India said:
"From asking Google where you can watch the latest movie to finding out cricket scores at the touch of a button, Google is there to help you get the answers you need. We're delighted to showcase the improvements we've made to Search for Indian users today. These features demonstrate Google's commitment to India and to continually improving Indian users' search experience."
Google worked with over 700 volunteers in order to nail down the Indian dialect…Google said:
"We collected spoken utterances to create the specific language models which power English voice search in the Indian accent. Our volunteers are asked to read popular search queries in a variety of acoustic conditions such as in restaurants, out on busy streets, and inside cars, to best reflect real life and the role Search has in helping connect users with relevant information they need to go about their day."
Voice search is available on Android 2.3 and above, iOS devices and Windows computers. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you have tried the improved Google search voice – does it seem to work better for our Indian readers…as always, we would love to hear from you.